Two eight-foot long cannon that were discarded by Birmingham City Council are to be given a new lease of life thanks to The Birmingham Post.

The cannon, which are thought to have been used on HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar, were situated next to the statue of Lord Nelson that was located in the old Bull Ring.

They were sold off by council chiefs in 1963 to Arthur Smith, who wanted to keep them in the Midlands.

The 1.5 ton structures, which fired 14lbs cannonballs, were then passed on to his niece Jane O'Dell, from Henley-in-Arden.

However, an old friend of Mr Smith, Brian Henderson, spotted a letter from Birmingham Civic Society member Stephen Hartland in The Post about the campaign to reinstate the railings around the Nelson statue which overlooks St Martin ' s church in Bullring.

He contacted Mr Hartland and put him in touch with Mrs O'Dell, who has agreed to loan the cannon back to the city for longterm public display.

The working cannon, which are believed to have been made in the 1780s, are expected to be reunited with the Nelson statue in time for the Trafalgar celebrations next month.

The statue, which was the first monument to Admiral Nelson anywhere in the UK, was unveiled in October 1809. It was illuminated by gas from within the cannon which were lit via bore holes situated under the ground.

"It would have been one of the only illuminated areas of the central district of Birmingham and would have been very popular," said Mr Hartland.

It is not known where they will go on permanent public display.